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Review of GSM/UMTS-handset Nokia 6600 Slide
Live images of Nokia 6600 Slide
Within "Beautiful to use" series, the Nokia 6600 Slide ranks below the 6600 Fold, whose heftier price tag leaves no room for second guesses which one of them is at the top of this line-up. I, for one, have good reasons to believe that this kind of arrangement is more due to a marketing trick aimed to boost the sales of the weaker offering by putting it on the highest rung of the ladder.
If it wasn't for this pretty clever move, the 6600 Slide would have topped this line-up - after all, it's a slider, and this design is deemed far more fashionable than clamshells these days. Plus it is quite miniscule, sports a lot of metallic accents and a top-notch coating of the front fascia; putting it simply, the 6600 Slide has got all the makings of a fashion-savvy phone. Notwithstanding, Nokia have decided to launch it as an affordable solution, which is somewhat odd, especially since other phone makers have nothing similar on their plates these days.
But there is one valid reason for what they've done - as a matter of fact, the 6600 Slide was originally designed for women, which is Samsung's very own domain, especially when it comes to sliding phones. But Nokia aren't looking to rock the boat with only one offering, by any means. Essentially, the 6600 Slide is a ticking bomb that should make luxurious materials par for the course in 200-300 Euro worth handsets. Comparing the Nokia 6600 Slide with, say, Nokia 7610 Supernova, you'll surely notice that the price gap between them is largely due to the former's mix of materials. So, if everything will work out for the 6600 Slide, Samsung will have to deal with this threat and find a way to incorporate the same materials into their mid-range portfolio. However, it's not about Nokia and Samsung only - other phone makers will also have a lot of things to ponder over.
Even though 6600 Slide was designed with a strong feminine appeal in mind, I couldn't let go of it after a month of use. It's a real pity very few men will actually go for it in spite of all social clich?s (they'll make around 15 percent of all users at the most) - the 6600 Slide is a well-rounded phone in every sense of this word.
The 6600 Slide's pictures do it no justice - by looking at them you simply won't get how pocketable it actually is at 90x45x14 mm and 110 grams (which lend it a reassuring heavy feel in the hand). Add to this some chilling metallic accents and you'll see why the 6600 Slide delivers a very 8800-esque look-and-feel. While the phone literally sinks in your hands, you won't be able to make it squeak or wobble even if you squeeze it as hard as you can.
Nokia 6600 Slide vs Nokia N85:
Nokia 6600 Slide vs Samsung U900 Soul:
The 6600 Slide's front fascia is decked out in a thick seamless plastic plate that is quite scratch-resistant - although over a month of our quality time with the phone it picked up a slew of tiny nicks, it managed to keep them indiscernible for the most part. On the downside, this glossy surface is really prone to fingerprints and all kinds of grease - you may try wiping it down every now and then, but it won't solve the problem at all. Thankfully, though, these smudgy spots aren't all that striking and don't hurt the 6600 Slide's sleek looks that much.
Probably the best thing about this phone's design is its lacquered metallic battery cover that just doesn't get any scratches or scuffs at all (unless you scrape it with keys on purpose). Plus it feels rock solid and won't loosen up with time. The 6600 Slide offers a very robust build quality and is one of the sturdiest phones I've tested in a while. Plus, its miniscule size eliminates all possibilities of the two halves feeling wobbly, and the spring-loaded mechanism works perfectly.
The 6600 Slide comes only in black, although there are some differently styled accents on it as well: the navigation key (blue or pink) and inserts on the loudspeakers (same colors).
Housed on the right is the 2.5 mm audio jack, while on top there are the microUSB connector under a plastic flap and back cover release button. Apart from these, there are no other keys or ports on the sides. Topping the display is the forward-facing camera for videoconferencing. Around back is where you'll find the LED flash and 3.2 Mpix camera lens.
The SIM-card holder is pretty standard here, however, we found a corner of our card was sticking out of the slot, which seems more like a minor design flow that hasn't done any harm to our 6600 Slide yet.
The 6600 Slide's main display measures 2.2 inches from corner to corner, boasts a resolution of 240x320 pixels (32.4x43.2 mm) and enjoys TFT technology with 16 million colors, along with a juicy and vibrant picture. This screen can handle the sun in a convenient fashion and remains pretty readable.
The display accommodates up to 8 text and 3 service lines all written in a convenient font. Just like you'd expect, you can alter the font size in certain menus (like Messaging, where amplified fonts do much better). The display's brightness is taken care of by the ambient light sensor, although you won't be able to adjust it from the phone's menu.
The navigation pad has a very nice texture to it, however we were worried about its finish peeling off after some time. Luckily, it's still there after a month of use. As for the number pad, it's not miniscule by any standards, which is already quite an achievement for such a pocketable device - generally, it was a breeze to text on the 6600 Slide, as all keys were reasonably responsive and soft. The button's backlight is color-keyed to whatever color scheme your phone comes in, ours was pink.
The handset utilizes a 1000 mAh Li-Ion battery (BL-4U), rated for 240 hours of standby and 3 hours of talk time. In Moscow the 6600 Slide lasts around 2 days at 2 hours of calls and up to 3 hours of music. It takes the battery just shy of 2 hours to charge from empty to full.
We got a shade more than 12 hours and 10 minutes of continuous music with the 6600 Slide (in earphones).
The microSD memory expansion slot (cards up to 8 GB are supported) is perched underneath the battery. The handset also comes equipped with 20 Mb of built-in memory.
The phone is a typical offering for its generation - no bells and whistles here. Compared to Sony Ericsson's solutions, the 6600 Slide is quite a mediocre performer.
USB. The Nokia 6600 Fold comes with the microUSB socket, housed on the left edge of the phone. This socket is used for plugging in a data cable or headsets (the phone starts charging up when connected). The vendor says the handset supports USB 2.0, and it does indeed, in the USB Mass Storage mode the USB connection offers 500-600 Kb/s (topping out at 800 Kb/s). Upon successful connection you can pick one of the following modes: USB Mass Storage, Nokia Mode (PC Studio), Modem, plus the phone supports MTP.
Bluetooth. The handset comes with EDR-enabled Bluetooth 2.0. The following profiles are supported:
The Bluetooth implementation is, as always, nothing to complain about, we encountered no issues with handling this type of connections. The stereo-headset also worked fine. Bluetooth data transfer speeds top out at 170-180 Kb/s
This is actually the fouth Nokia-branded phone to utilize this camera module (after Nokia 6500, 5610 and 7610 Supernova). The following resolution settings are available
Also, three JPEG compression level are available: basic, normal, high. Speaking of other options, you can adjust the shutter sound (on/off), play with the 3600 Slide's x8 digital zoom, choose between the built-in memory and memory card as the default place to save all images in, and modify white balance settings, ISO level, etc. Overlays may be applied to all snaps, so whether it's worth using them before shooting or not - it is all up to you. The following effects are available with the phone: Greyscale, Sepia, Negative.
For those keen on multi-shot mode, there is an option in the 6600 Slide that makes the camera take up to 3 shots in rapid succession, with all settings being identical to the single-shot mode, including resolution. There is also a 10-second self-timer.
The camera interface employs landscape layout, which looks really reminiscent of the Series 40v3 devices, so there is nothing new we can tell - everything is pretty straightforward and intuitive, however the ergonomics are still a few steps behind Sony Ericsson's multimedia smartphones.
Video. The handset allows recording video in 3GP format, available resolutions - 128x96 or 176x144, 352x288, 640x480 pixels. There are three quality settings available for the 6600 Slide's video mode; apart from that you can limit clip length, or opt to keep recording until the memory runs out. The effects available for videos are no different from what you can utilize for still images. All in all, video clips look okay on the handset's screen, however when it comes to watching them on PC you will certainly spot some artifacts and glitches here and there. Nonetheless it's not a big deal, since the 6600 Slide's videos still looked like a sizable step forward compared to its predecessors. When shooting in 352x288-pixel resolution, the 6600 Slide offers better quality that than put up by Samsung-branded solutions all thanks to its more natural and vibrant colors. And since video is not the 6600 Slide's centerpiece, we find its video recording abilities more than satisfactory.
If you are keen on S40 5th edition's standard set of features and applications, you better read you dedicated write-up on that.
The 6600 Slide sports a sensor that allows you to bring up the clock to the home screen simply by tapping on the display; also with its help you can mute an incoming call by turning the phone face-down
The handset comes preinstalled with an array of games: Golf Tour, Snake III, Rally 3D, Soccer 3D, Backgammon, HighRoller Casino, Sudoku
The Applications section includes such standard functions like World Time, Converter, Widgets installer, and Nokia's catalogue for uploading new apps. Also the 7210 ships with Nokia Search that allows searching information and images on the web (custom search engines for every region).
Opera Mini needs no introductions; it comes preinstalled on most S40-based phones.
Also here are two more applications - Yahoo! Go and Flikr.
Maps – maps are coming to S40 in the same way they are currently available with S60-powered devices, however, they are pretty much pointless on devices with no inbuilt GPS receivers, as we really doubt you will go to all the trouble of connecting an external GPS module. In my opinion, Google Maps would fit the 6600 Slide better. However, solutions carrying a GPS receiver on board will squeeze a lot more out of Nokia's native application, thankfully, its functionality and design are the same as those found in S60.
The 6600 Slide's 64-tone ring tones sounded pretty loud in most environments, although since its only loudspeaker is mounted on the back, you will probably miss a call or two if you decide to keep the phone in your jeans' pocket. The vibro alert, on the contrary, is nothing to complain about.
Those of you who were about to just skip this paragraph are actually missing out some important things about the 6600 Slide's reception quality. While the phone turned out to be a pretty good performer in areas with okay to strong reception, it falls flat when you get to some place with a passable/weak signal. Basically, where the Nokia 8800 Arte still managed to keep us online, the 6600 Slide experienced serious difficulties with reception quality. And the reason is pretty simple - it's so tiny that even if you slide it out, it's still very likely that you will cover the antenna. So this is our most crucial niggle with the 6600 Slide, although I doubt many consumers in its audience will even bother about this issue.
The 6600 Slide retails for 250 Euro, which is quite a bargain for a phone of this caliber. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I got hooked by a mid-tier phone for this long - normally it takes me a month or so to grow cold to pretty much any phone. I was content with its size, looks (I couldn't care less that it's designed more for women) and the mix of materials. Girls, however, treat the 6600 Slider very differently - some fall in love with it outright, some find it quite ugly. But there is no denying that the Nokia 6600 Slide is one of the best phones for women out there with a solid feature pack and an attractive price tag.
Published 16 October 2008
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